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He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide.
He hesitates to expose the fraudulent proceedings, however; to do so means he must reveal his adulterous affair.
When he finally bares his heart to the court, his confession is in vain.
The superstitious ignorance of the Salem villagers transforms a youthful escapade into a diabolic act.
Despite Ann Putnam’s staunch religious beliefs, she admits to sending her daughter Ruth to Tituba to conjure up the souls of her dead babies so that Ruth, her one remaining daughter, may discover the cause of their seemingly unnatural deaths. She seeks Tituba’s aid to put a curse on Elizabeth Proctor’s life so that she can replace her in John Proctor’s affections.
Miller was often in the public eye, most famously for refusing to give evidence against others to the House Un-American Activities Committee, being the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama among other awards, and for marrying Marilyn Monroe.
At the time of his death, Miller was considered one of the greatest American playwrights.
Those who were blacklisted as Communists were banned from employment. The parallels between these two periods of social and political persecution in American history were obvious to playgoers in the 1950’s.
In both the witch trials and the committee hearings, people were summoned before an unchallengeable authority, interrogated, intimidated, and frequently coerced into the betrayal of others in order to escape being persecuted themselves.
Unable to believe that he was deceived, Deputy Governor Danforth sends for Elizabeth to discover if she supports Proctor’s charge.
She knows that her husband is a proud man who values his good name, so she denies her knowledge of the affair, unaware that in telling her first lie she condemns Proctor as a perjurer.